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Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:32 AM

Amelia Earhart and the problem with History Channel documentaries

So, there was some media splash to promote a documentary on the History Channel about an alleged photograph of Amelia Earhart.

The problem with "I've got a theory" documentaries on that channel and elsewhere is that while it provides the promoter of the theory with a platform to promote that theory, it's not as if they are produced on the basis of actual research beyond whatever supports the promoter's theory. So, yes, they are convincing, compelling, etc. ... because everything that lines up with the theory is presented. Things that don't line up... not so much.

One of the obvious holes in the History Channel documentary was where, exactly, did the photograph come from, beyond "found mis-filed in the National Archives". Pretty obviously, if the photographer was working for the Japanese, then it might be worth a look to see where the photograph turns up in Japan...


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/11/blogger-discredits-claim-amelia-earhart-was-taken-prisoner-by-japan

Claims made in a US documentary that the pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart crash-landed on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean and was taken prisoner by the Japanese appear to have been proved false by a photograph unearthed in a travel book.

The History Channel documentary, Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, which aired in the US on Sunday, made the claim that the American and her navigator, Fred Noonan, ended up in Japanese custody based on a photograph discovered in the US national archives that purported to show them standing at a harbour on one of the islands.

The film said the image “may hold the key to solving one of history’s all-time greatest mysteries” and suggested it disproved the widely accepted theory that Earhart and Noonan disappeared over the western Pacific on 2 July 1937 near the end of their attempt at a history-making flight around the world.

But serious doubts now surround the film’s premise after a Tokyo-based blogger unearthed the same photograph in the archives of the National Diet Library, Japan’s national library.

The image was part of a Japanese-language travelogue about the South Seas that was published almost two years before Earhart disappeared. Page 113 states the book was published in Japanese-held Palau on 10 October 1935.

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Reply Amelia Earhart and the problem with History Channel documentaries (Original post)
jberryhill Jul 2017 OP
BSdetect Jul 2017 #1
jberryhill Jul 2017 #3
Johonny Jul 2017 #10
jberryhill Jul 2017 #14
exboyfil Jul 2017 #2
jberryhill Jul 2017 #4
exboyfil Jul 2017 #6
louis-t Jul 2017 #17
jberryhill Jul 2017 #20
louis-t Jul 2017 #24
jberryhill Jul 2017 #37
Iggo Jul 2017 #8
jberryhill Jul 2017 #15
Iggo Jul 2017 #21
jberryhill Jul 2017 #25
jberryhill Jul 2017 #34
Iggo Jul 2017 #5
Kaleva Jul 2017 #12
Iggo Jul 2017 #13
jberryhill Jul 2017 #18
ReformedGOPer Jul 2017 #7
Iggo Jul 2017 #9
dsc Jul 2017 #11
jberryhill Jul 2017 #16
dalton99a Jul 2017 #19
maxsolomon Jul 2017 #22
miyazaki Jul 2017 #23
jberryhill Jul 2017 #26
suffragette Jul 2017 #27
jberryhill Jul 2017 #28
suffragette Jul 2017 #29
Docreed2003 Jul 2017 #30
jberryhill Jul 2017 #32
Docreed2003 Jul 2017 #35
Kaleva Jul 2017 #31
jberryhill Jul 2017 #33
miyazaki Jul 2017 #36
edbermac Jul 2017 #38
LeftInTX Jul 2017 #39

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:51 AM

1. Screwed up research - remember Chariots of the Gods?

Its all about ratings and getting rich quick.

Uri Geller etc

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Response to BSdetect (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:57 AM

3. I loved Chariots of the Gods


George Tsoulakis even dug up Von Daniken and made him part of the Ancient Aliens team.

I love that show - great HD scenes of interesting archaeological sites. It's all bullshit, but it's real eye candy.

If you really listen critically, Ancient Aliens proceeds from the proposition "What if it were true?" But the narrative is so convoluted, that the "speculative" part is buried.

Could Earhart have been abducted by aliens and, if so, is there evidence of her abduction in King Tut's tomb? Some ancient alien researchers say "yes"!

There was one piece of narrative that I loved and will have to find again.... "I am 100% convinced that it is certainly possible."

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:20 PM

10. I find Chariots of the Gods racist and flat out insulting to real researchers

As basically pointed out by many others the simple criticisms of the book and the stupid ancient aliens show in general is

A) The premise is basically look at these ancient people how could they do blah. The assumption is minorities (which most of these ancient cultures were) are too dumb to solve problems. Thus, aliens must have done it.

B) The thing is the book claims it is only asking questions and there is nothing wrong with asking questions. The problem with the "What if it were true?" question is that it doesn't start with the basic answer "What do we know?" Instead it ignores all existing historical information gathered to date, claims we know nothing, claims these cultures too dumb to solve problems, and posits the impossible as the most likely solution solution. Often the dates of events, location, description of the site are all comically wrong to boot.



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Response to Johonny (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:42 PM

14. Yep

Last edited Tue Jul 11, 2017, 02:26 PM - Edit history (1)

People who were every bit as bright as any today had generations to figure out how to move large rocks, and got really good at it.

And the obvious is ignored - the older pyramids are step pyramids, so apparently even the aliens needed to practice first.

Aliens are quick learners, though. Look at how much cooler the crop circles got after they'd had some practice.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:54 AM

2. One of my favorit shows as a kid

was "In Search Of". I mean how could Spock lie.

Penn Jillette, Aron Ra and others subsequently taken down the show.

I am glad this blogger did due diligence to discover the truth.

The History channel fell off the rails many years ago. It used to be a favorite of mine until it became "The Hitler Channel" (so many documentaries on Nazi Germany) and then finally the "Woo woo" channel.

All of the good documentary channels seem to have eventually degenerated.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:58 AM

4. How much time did you put into trying to bend spoons?

I built my own model pyramid to see if it would sharpen my dad's razor blades!

I don't know if that stuff is good for kids or not. I ate it all up for years, until finding out.... um, you know, there is another side of this conversation.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:03 PM

6. I never got that far

Probably too lazy.

I do hate the fact that Spock lied to me. How to crush the dreams of a child.

Confirmation bias is a very dangerous thing. That is why the scientific method is so vital (double blind, independent experimentation, peer review). Even with those safeguards we still get into trouble especially when the facts do not lead to what you need (or want) to be true.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:45 PM

17. I have one, great Uri Geller story.

In 1976, I was living in my very first apartment. One night, Geller was on a tv show doing the spoon bending bit. I tried a few times with no luck. Then he asked everyone at home to go and find a broken watch and he would fix it over the airwaves. I found my old Big Boy watch and followed along with his instructions. The watch never started working, of course.

The next morning I got in my car, a 1969 Olds 98 I had bought from my father. The clock in the car never worked from the time I bought it. Not only was the clock working but it was set within a few minutes of the correct time.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #17)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:48 PM

20. I love the remote watch fixing thing

...and they'd usually ask people to call or write if their watch/clock started working.

So, you have thousands and thousands of people all pulling out a watch or clock that hasn't been handled in a while and, sure enough, a subset of those watches are going to start ticking just from being handled.

Gellar was a master at "taking credit" for coincidences or unusual things that would happen around him. You just keep pointing them out, and people start to think "wow, all kinds of things happen when he's around".

I learned to "fix" broken lights in parking lots that way. Whenever you drive by some place and a light comes on, point it out to your passenger. They'll start noticing it on their own after a while. Works great at dusk.

"I mean, sure the lights come on automatically, but notice how often they do it when I pass by!"

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 01:28 PM

24. He would say to "warm it up in your hand".

If the parts were stuck due to a sticky lubricant, the heat from your hand would sometimes unstick it. That was my thought at the time.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:08 PM

37. Here's another good one


He could make "lost objects" re-appear.

If he was visiting a celebrity or other person he was seeking to impress, he'd have them pick him up from the airport. During the ride, he'd adjust his seat and use that as an opportunity to fish around under the car seat. If he found something, he'd pocket it, and then place it on a shelf or other location at their home, where his host would be surprised to find a long lost whatever there.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:08 PM

8. I loved that show when I was a kid.

That's where I learned to spot bullshit phrases like "Could it be true that...?"

Now I watch Ancient Aliens with their "Ancient Alien Theorists suggest..." and I laaaauuuugh!

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Response to Iggo (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:44 PM

15. I like it when they really go out on a limb


and say, "some" theorists believe...

I always want to know "which one of you geniuses refused to sign off on that assertion?". I mean, if they couldn't convince that wacky blond twerp, they know they've really gotten out there.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 01:15 PM

21. Oh, Captain Forehead?

I like him!

That Jimmie James lookin' guy is my favorite, though.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 02:21 PM

25. You haave to ask yourself


Tsoulakis did a spinoff "best evidence" set of shows where he did "field work" that was a lot of fun. Flew around the Nazca Plain with his head nodding enthusiastically, and showed off some stuff there I hadn't seen before.

I could hang out with him, but the rest of them are just awful (except for that Cal State or wherever engineering guy who does an honest job of saying things which are indeed true, and apparently is not bothered by whatever flights of fancy his segments are edited in to).



...and, if so, then perhaps a clue may be found 4,000 miles away in Patagonia...

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Response to Iggo (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 06:51 PM

34. Tsoulakis is an inspiration to me

Here is a guy who cannot pronounce the word "extraterrestrial" but who nonetheless has made a fortune in a career based on it.

"Exatestrials"

It just makes me stand in awe of the man.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:02 PM

5. I was getting ready to punch the next person who said "compelling."

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Response to Iggo (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:26 PM

12. HC has compelling shows on how the aliens built the pyramids.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:41 PM

13. Why, I oughta...

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Response to Iggo (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:45 PM

18. I gotta get me one of those clenched fists of truth

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:07 PM

7. I really want it to be true, but there are too many holes in their theory.

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Response to ReformedGOPer (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:15 PM

9. I don't.

Then again I'm imagining dying in a WWII Japanese POW camp.

I think I'd rather have died in an air crash.

Dead's dead, though, I guess.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:23 PM

11. anyone who has had diet food

knows the diet archive can't be any good.

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Response to dsc (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:44 PM

16. It's a Japanese Diet


So, he found it on microfish.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:46 PM

19. Half of HC is garbage

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 01:17 PM

22. It's all filler

for the Drug ads.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 01:18 PM

23. What a sham.

Never saw this piece, but am curious if the makers documented their efforts in the film to research the photograph and everything else within Japanese historical records.

The only mildly amusing aspect was reading the suckers here who swallowed this bullshit.

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Response to miyazaki (Reply #23)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 02:25 PM

26. It's kind of a classic structure....


"Hey, I found a thing, and I don't know what it is!"

Therefore, the unknown thing supports some other piece of whatever.

It makes a sort of sense - Here's a thing and I don't know what it is. There is some other thing that I can't explain. Therefore, the thing I don't know what it is explains the other thing I can't explain.

But given a mis-filed photograph of Japanese origin, you'd think it might make some sense to ask a Japanese expert about it, since the war did actually end a while back.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 02:29 PM

27. Calls into question Shawn Henry's credibility and accuracy of facial recognition process

Rather shoddy investigative techniques from Henry. This from someone who held an important position in the FBI.

And whoever this Ken Gibson is, best hope he isn't in any position to 'identify' someone based on facial recognition and possibly make their life a living hell by getting it wrong and being believed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/11/blogger-discredits-claim-amelia-earhart-was-taken-prisoner-by-japan

The documentary, hosted by former FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry, also alleges a cover-up, claiming that the US government knew of her whereabouts but did nothing to rescue her.

The film cites facial-recognition and other forensic testing that confirmed the photograph’s authenticity, and concluded that the two figures in question were likely to be Earhart and Noonan.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/07/05/a-newly-unearthed-photo-shows-amelia-earhart-survived-her-final-flight-investigators-say/?utm_term=.69b4bfb5758a

“I was originally skeptical until we could get the photograph authenticated,” Shawn Henry, a former FBI assistant executive director who is now helping privately investigate the Earhart disappearance, told The Washington Post. “The fact that it came out of the National Archives as opposed to somebody’s basement or garage somewhere — that to me gave it a lot more credibility.”
~~~
Henry, who was asked to join the investigation about a year ago, said two different photo experts analyzed the picture to ensure it had not been manipulated. It had not been, they found. The experts also compared the facial features and body proportions of the two figures in the photograph with known pictures of Earhart and Noonan.

For the man on the left, “the hairline is the most distinctive characteristic,” Ken Gibson, a facial recognition expert who studied the image, told the “Today” show. “It’s a very sharp receding hairline. The nose is very prominent. … It’s my feeling that this is very convincing evidence that this is probably Noonan.”
~~~
“But again, for me, those things are all somewhat suspect until you have that photograph, which corroborates that she was there,” Henry said. “To me, that’s just proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Response to suffragette (Reply #27)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 02:39 PM

28. Here's the thing about that

While the FBI has done a bang-up job with fingerprints, they've used some sketchy "fiber analysis" and "handwriting analysis" techniques before. Even some of their bullet comparisons don't hold up well.

To recognize a face, you don't take a photograph and see how well it lines up with the face you want it to be. You compare it to a huge database of faces, and then see if the one you want it to match fits better than anything else. Otherwise you are just forcing an answer and comparing the characteristics that match - and this from a photograph blown up way down to the grain in the print made with unknown equipment.

Was this guy going to get paid, and be on the documentary, if he said, "Nah, you can't tell from this photo". Did they go to other experts who told them that?

It's like the Egyptology expert touted by the Mormons as having "confirmed" Joseph Smith's translations of "Reformed Egyptian" at a time when the significance of the Rosetta Stone itself was not widely known.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 03:13 PM

29. They've even done badly on fingerprints. Remember the Oregon lawyer they tried to frame?

They were 100% sure those were his fingerprints. Yes, they eventually released and even apologized, but that was after arresting him, vilifying him and going through his belongings and information with a fine toothed comb.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x595794

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Mayfield

Completely agree about some of the sketchy techniques FBI has used and about "forcing an answer and comparing the characteristics that match." It's no big issue (and can be a source of amusement) when there aren't consequences for people. But it can devastate lives when they fit the evidence to the theory in active cases.

Hope that Henry's employees at Crowdstrike use better methodology than him. This isn't just any guy who played host and put his weight behind the theory. He's a rather important figure both in his past role in the FBI and in his current one investigating cyber intrusion.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 03:45 PM

30. So you're saying that's NOT time traveling Jimi Hendrix on the docks???

That was the best part of the original thread about this "breakthrough" that was posted last week!

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #30)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 06:43 PM

32. They used the Earhart story to distract from Hendrix

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 06:58 PM

35. Whew...thanks for restoring my faith in unbelievable CTs

So glad that somewhere out there in the cosmos, there's an island where JFK, Earhart, Joplin, Cobain, Monroe, Jim Morrison, and Elvis all live in harmony...and to think, Jimi was their time traveling escort!

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 06:22 PM

31. I find the story of the USS Fitzgerald collision to be more interesting

How a sophisticated Navy warship manned by a highly trained crew could collide with a lumbering container ship 3 times its size on a clear night is more baffling to me then how and why a pilot and navigator doing something that was considered to be very risky and flying a plane equipped with 1930s technology disappeared.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 06:45 PM

33. Apparently a NATO joint naval program with Italy...

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #33)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 10:26 PM

36. Rofl.

You're all over this one. Glad your here.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:39 PM

38. History Channel going the way of Weekly World News.

Though WWN does get one right occasionally.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:41 PM

39. Did you ever hear of the McStay family?

They disappeared from San Diego in 2010. Their car was parked near the Mexican border, so authorities thought they had gone to Mexico. They viewed surveillance videos at the border crossing. They spotted a random family of four. Based on this picture, authorities concluded that they had taken off to start a new life in Mexico. They even found a waitress in Mexico say she saw the family.

Sadly, they never left California. (Murdered by a business partner) Bodies were discovered by bikers near the Mohave desert 3.5 years later.

It is bad enough when the History Channel does this. It is horrific when law enforcement engages in this.



McStay family:




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